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Mackey: Concerto for Soprano Saxophone with Piano Reduction by Liz Ames

S. Page & L. Ames / contemporary

Website(s) : http://www.stephen-page.com

To create a reduction that both conserves the integrity of the piece, while remaining true to the spirit of the music, Liz Ames has worked closely with the composer of the concerto, John Mackey.

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Biography

Described by noted American composer Libby Larsen as “fearless on stage,” saxophonist Stephen Page has appeared across four continents, in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, and across the United States. As the Alto Saxophone chair of the critically acclaimed Zzyzx Quartet, Stephen has appeared internationally in venues both public and academic in such notable settings as Izumi hall in Osaka, Japan, and Symphony Space in New York City. Dr. Page’s multiple recordings can be heard on the Enharmonic, Teal Creek, Crystal Music, and AUR Labels. Stephen Page currently resides in Texas, teaching at the Butler School of Music within the University of Texas at Austin.

More informations

The Concerto for Soprano Saxophone by John Mackey has quickly become a significant work in the repertoire. While it receives many performances each year with Wind Ensemble, the composer never made a reduction of the work to be performed with piano. Liz Ames has worked closely with the composer to create a reduction that is both conserves the integrity of the pice, while remaining true to the spirit of the music. Dr. Ames describes her goal in the reduction: “The reason why I am so interested in reductions is because there are so many reductions which do not uphold the integrity of the music nor are they accessible to even the best pianists. This, of course, leads to fewer performances of these pieces or no performances at all since it is already so difficult for saxophonists to find a pianist. I love working with saxophonists and I love the music that they play and only wish to expand the repertoire that they have to choose from.”

John Mackey describes his concerto, and the reduction by Liz Ames:
“To me, the saxophone is a kind of hybrid instrument; it’s essentially a brass instrument with a woodwind reed on it. Instead of valves like a brass instrument has, the sax has keys like a woodwind. (Many sax players even switch effortlessly from sax to a woodwind like a clarinet, and back again in the same concert.) So, I had an instrument made of three materials: felt (the pads of the keys), metal (the body), and wood (the reed). In fact, every instrument in the band can be placed into one (or more) of those “categories.” The brass section is made of metal, the harp is made of metal and wood, the wind section has keys, and so on. This realization gave me the central idea for the piece: a multi-movement work with the inner movements called Felt, Metal, and Wood, and with instrumentation chosen to essentially match those materials for each movement. The outer movements would be scored for the entire ensemble. Thanks to Liz, there is now a playable (!), effective (!!!) reduction of my previously un-reducable sax concerto.”

Programming

12/07/2015 14:15 - 14:45

Cité de la musique et de la danse - Salle 22

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Musicians / speakers

  • Stephen Page (United States)
  • Ames Liz / Collaborative Pianist (United States)

Program

  • Concerto for Soprano Saxophone (John Mackey) / World Premiere

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